Outlying areas of Pima County including Three Points, Ajo and the Tohono O’odham Nation will get upgraded broadband internet access, thanks to federal funding recently handed out by the state.
The Arizona Commerce Authority awarded Cox Communications a $5 million grant to support fiber broadband upgrades to the Three Points area west of Tucson and Sycamore Springs in the Sahuarita-Corona de Tucson area, as part of $100 million in grants announced recently.
Those projects will be supported by an additional $5.1 million commitment from Cox Communications and $2.5 million from the Pima County Public Library, helping to provide reliable internet to about 1,400 area residents.
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The project also will provide needed infrastructure for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, Ryan Airfield and other community institutions, the county said.
Elsewhere, Chandler-based fiber provider Alluvion Communications also received a $5 million grant for a broadband upgrade project in Ajo, and the Tohono O’odham Utility Authority received just under $5 million for broadband infrastructure within the nation.
Cox said its grant will help the cable provider expand broadband service across more than 100 miles of its network and also provide internet services to the Altar Valley School District.
Cox’s fiber-to-the-premises network expansion is part of a multibillion-dollar annual infrastructure investment Cox is making over the next several years to build a 10-gigabit capable, fiber-based network, the company said.
Cox said it also is investing $175,000 in the rural communities to set up a Cox Innovation Center, which will host computers, printers and the latest technology for student learning at a yet-to-be-determined location; and to promote “digital equity” through the distribution of 100 devices and low-cost internet service for qualified residents, and production and ad placement of a a long-form video to promote digital equity.
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